Another Exciting Event Announcement, Plus Valentine's Gifts!

Often we think of January and February as being a slow time at the shop. A time to relax, think of new projects, and talk about what we are reading. This year, it's been full steam ahead for events and projects with no break in sight! And we love it. Our Bookworm Festival on Saturday was so wonderful. Over 500 kids, parents, and teachers were entertained by seven wonderful authors and one standout musician. Everyone had a chance to meet some book stars!

Looking ahead, there's a certain romantic holiday just over the horizon. Come visit us for the perfect Valentine's gift. Whether it's a fun romance, a sweet baby book, or the perfect card, we have put together a lovely array of presents.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that we were bringing Pulitzer Prize winner Junot Díaz to Houston. Last week, we announced another huge event. Chelsea Clinton is stopping by the store in March for her latest picture book, She Persisted Around The World. It's a great book to share with youngsters about people who have made a difference. Sadly, I received several hateful texts to my personal cell phone after our announcement (my number is posted at the door for police and fire emergencies). It has disturbed the staff in a way that I think the sender could never know.

I just want some things to be clear: We do not claim any political alliances here. We are a safe haven for free expression on all sides. We have hosted Newt Gingrich and worked with Joe Biden. Of course, each of us has a personal political position. And as you can imagine, we don't always agree. But we are respectful of each other. That's all we ask.

Onto nicer things. The books I've read recently are so different and so compelling. I loved listening to Liz Nugent's Unraveling Oliver last year. Her new book, Lying In Wait, is another psychological thriller that will keep you turning the pages. The laugh-out-loud funny and poignant This Could Hurt is perfect for anyone who has worked for a big company and dealt with all kinds of co-workers. A Shout In The Ruins by Kevin Powers brought me to tears with its compelling story of how war and hate destroys lives.

Please tell me what you are reading. Your recommendations are so important to us. And if you're between books, check out the latest batch of staff reviews on our blog — I promise you'll find something to love.

Take care,